Women in Law 2023



A partner in the Hinshaw & Culbertson Consumer Financial Services practice, Vaishali Rao leads the Regulatory & Compliance team. She has built a national team of regulatory and compliance attorneys, primarily composed of women attorneys. A strong advocate for women and underrepresented persons, she is a member of Hinshaw’s Management Committee – the firm’s highest governing body, and several other firm committees and initiatives. Through her roles, she has influenced the firm’s hiring and retention policies and actively mentors a number of associates. Rao has garnered a national reputation for her successful track record and is well-known for her strategic approach, thoughtful guidance, capabilities in managing complex situations and finding creative solutions for her clients. She is a go-to resource for financial institutions in consumer protection compliance matters. She advises lenders, servicers, debt buyers, collectors, and fintech businesses in compliance matters, supervisory examinations, and investigations and litigation brought by state and federal government agencies, most notably the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Trade Commission, state attorneys general, and state banking regulators. A recognized thought leader, Rao was widely quoted in national media coverage of recent oral arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court

case challenging the Biden administration’s student debt relief plan. Rao began her legal career in the Consumer Fraud Bureau of the Office of the Illinois Attorney General, where she led high-profile multistate investigations and litigations. Her notable cases include large pharmaceutical cases, the National Foreclosure Settlement, fair lending and securitization cases, and student loan lending and servicing investigations. She assisted in the development of a $70 million grant program to award non-profit funds to reverse the effects of the foreclosure crisis. Rao also served as Assistant Counsel in the Illinois House of Representatives, where she assisted in the impeachment trial of former Illinois Governor Rod R. Blagojevich. Her previous consumer protection experience, coupled with longstanding relationships with federal and state regulators and deep knowledge of regulatory matters, makes her uniquely suited to advocate for her clients. With her insight and understanding of the inner workings of state attorneys general offices, Rao is able to help clients reduce their exposure to significant, multi-million dollar claims. Rao was previously selected for Chicago Daily Law Bulletin 40 Under Forty and has served as a Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow since 2020. She continues her civic engagement by serving on the Chicago Zoning Board of Appeals.



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